She was standing in the middle of the crossing. The crossing that separated the Royal town from Royal village, where she lived, and what people just called ‘the village’. They always warned her not to go right, nor left just straight along the road to reach the centre of Royal town. She obeyed but the truth is that she always kept standing there for hours waiting for something to happen. Something that forces her to change her usual path. The spring breeze was so light that it playfully fluttered her incredibly fair hair yet she thought she was going to suffocate. She wondered about what would happen if she turned left. According to the locals, at the end of that way, another town existed, which was called Own town, where strange things happen. It was dangerous, or at least they said so, but not as wild as the right path, leading to a deep and dark forest with solid storm clouds above it, where she really never wanted to go.
But on this very day something was different. She was different indeed, but that was nothing new at all. Before she would have lost the regular fight with her own self, putting her bare feet on the road leading to the everyday greyness, she noticed a huge dust cloud approaching fast from the left. It had the silhouette of a carriage which was pulled by a purple pig. That pig looked like it was escaping from something, for example from the boy who drove the carriage. As the shape came gradually closer, the girl saw that the boy was rather riding the pig in order to make it stop. This scene was apparently something extraordinary but she had no time to be astonished as the carriage was rushing so fast that the girl couldn’t jump over and simply got hit by it.
After a few blank minutes a sharp pain in the ankle was the first thing she felt. By then the carriage had stopped next to her and the pig somehow managed to escape. It seemed to be proficient in it. The boy hastily jumped down from the carriage to help the girl.
“Looks like, it has broken.” Said calmly, without any introduction and offered a lift to Own town for some treatment. The girl, maybe because of the shock, did not resist. She had an unsolicited vision of her parents getting angry by her going there but she just ignored it.
At first sight, Own town wasn’t strange. The only thing it was different from hometown was that the houses were painted vivid colours, each completely different from the other but still somehow unified. In the yard of a certain house the girl could notice the pig sleeping under the bushes.
“Thanks, for bringing the pig back!” the voice was soft and kind coming from the front of the house. A seemingly young lady appeared in front of them, however a few silver lines in her ink-black hair suggested that she was older than she looked.
“Oh, dear.” She looked at the girl. “This will take a few days to heal.” Said warmly.
“My leg?” asked the girl.
“No dear” the lady laughed with sympathy. “That will be less than a moment. I am talking about the other thing.” The girl didn’t understand it. In her town, a broken bone needed weeks to be recovered. Although, it is true that her villagers wouldn’t know what to do with it. Especially her parents. They may let her rest for a little while but as soon as she was able to work again, they would force her to help out in the fields as usual. She was truly surprised by the prompt and unselfish action of the old lady. She had the same warm aura as the boy. Probably, that was something typical to these villagers.
The company then headed to a bright room, its decoration as delicate as the lady herself. The woman disappeared and soon came back with a large bouquet of herbs in her hands.
“Are these all for my leg?” managed to find her voice again. Although the old lady was the nicest person she ever met she was somehow afraid of her.
“No, dear. Their only purpose is to cheer you up.” Said with a smile. And with that, started to take care of the ankle while crooning a warm and very familiar song. Smelling the calming scent of the flowers the girl thought the procedure must have been some kind of magic because the pain in the ankle almost immediately ceased but in fact just in order to reappear in her chest.
After the treatment was complete, the girl stayed there for a while to become completely recovered. During those days she helped the lady around the house, the same she did at home, but yet it was more refreshing, something completely different. Also, the people of that village were far nicer than at home. Every once in a while, random people she met asked her about her leg even though they didn’t know her. But she knew this would not last forever. In the morning of the last day, she thanked the lady for the gentle care and, a bit sadly but full of experience and determination, headed back to her village.
When she arrived at home, she couldn’t find her parents anywhere in the dark and cold house. They were working in the fields as it could be expected. Later, when they came home none of them showed any concern about where the girl had disappeared in the past few days. Instead of listening to her story, they sent her to the town to buy some ingredients for dinner. She didn’t say a word, just calmly set off.
While she was walking, the villagers started to flow out to the street, pointing at her with their fingers and whispering behind her back;
“She went to the other village!” while others were amazed by her courage;
“And she survived!” But mostly they all disapproved her;
“I knew that someday she will be a trouble for us! Just look at her hair! None of us looks like this!” Though, by now she has become indifferent to them. They were right; this really wasn’t the place where she belonged.
Approaching the crossing she realized that the left path has changed. Now it wasn’t deserted, instead, blooming bushes and trees stood on both sides of the road. Again, she stopped for a moment to think, took a deep breath and, with a smile on her face, turned left now intentionally. And then, she knew that next time she will be the one riding the purple pig.